Is your to-do list out of control? The tool that comes to my rescue is my calendar.
In this video, I talk to you about using your calendar effectively to make sure you get the most important things done. (Or to continue reading, just scroll down).
This time of year, your to-do list can get out of control. That’s why, although I keep a to-do list, it isn’t the tool I use every day to decide what I’m going to work on next. Instead, I use my calendar.
Most of us use our calendar for things like appointments, or even deadlines, but I use my calendar for much more than that. Using a technique called time-blocking, I make appointments on my calendar to perform the work I need to get done. This forces me to be more realistic about what I can actually accomplish.
The concept is simple. Instead of leaving all of the tasks I need to accomplish on a to-do list, I convert those tasks into blocks of time on my calendar. For example, I write a column for a legal magazine every other month. In addition to adding the due date for the column to my calendar, I add a reminder several weeks in advance of the due date. When the reminder pops up, I look at my calendar and start blocking out times to write. If I need to schedule another appointment at the time I was planning to write, this forces me to look at my calendar to see when I have another opening to write. And I know from experience that I rarely complete the column in one sitting, so I may need to block out several blocks to accomplish this task. I can do that all at once, or as I go along.
Time blocking is also a great technique to ensure that you accomplish some of the non-billable tasks you need to do. For example, you might block out an hour or two every week to focus on your marketing and business development, or a few hours a month to review your bills so they get out the door on time. And it’s important to block out time to enjoy yourself, too.
For me, if it isn’t on my calendar, it doesn’t get done, no matter what it is.
I’m Allison Johs from Legal Ease Consulting, and I hope this tip was helpful for you. Please leave me a comment with your best productivity tip for this holiday season!
See more about productivity:
- 5 Tips for Improving Your Email Messages
- Improving Your Email Communication
- Delegating Tasks to Technology
- Do You Have Plans and Goals for the Future?
- Do This Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions
- Using Your Task List to Create Systems
- Creating Your Task Capture System
- Get Everything Out of Your Head
- Are You Distracted at Work? Close Those Open Loops!
- Choosing the Right Time for Focused Work